The Western Conference is full of deserving All-Star guard candidates, to the point where many terrific players will be left off the list through no fault of their own. Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson, averaging 21.9 ppg for the NBA's best team, is one of those guys. If he doesn't make it with that resume, then you know the conference is stacked.
You can now forget about that possibility. In one quarter of Friday night's game against the Sacramento Kings, Thompson ensured that he will end up in the All-Star Game. Because he scored 37 points in the third quarter to set an NBA record.
[Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]
Yes, you read that correctly. After the Kings opened the half on a 7-0 run to take a 58-56 lead, Thompson redefined "on fire" by hitting all 13 of his field-goal attempts, including nine three-pointers. Perhaps most remarkably, Thompson set the mark by shooting only two free throws to finish off his scoring with four seconds remaining in the period. Everyone knew he was getting the ball and they just couldn't stop him. The video does not lie:
The shot chart isn't bad either:
Klay Thompson sets an NBA record for points in a quarter with 37 in 3rd quarter vs Kings! His shot chart-- pic.twitter.com/4UOrxCXqx2
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 24, 2015
It was also enough to make Detroit Pistons forward Anthony Tolliver say that he'd give up his livelihood if Thompson doesn't make the All-Star team:
If Klay Thompson isnt an All Star I will quit basketball for good...he just had 37pts in the QUARTER....yes you read that correct
— Anthony Tolliver (@ATolliver44) January 24, 2015
Thompson topped the previous record of 33 points in a quarter shared by San Antonio Spurs legend George Gervin (1978) and then-Denver Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony (2008). His 37 points outscored all other Kings and Warriors, who managed just 26 in the third.
With 50 points at the end of the third, it looked as if Thompson could make a run up the all-time single-game scoring list. However, he played just a few minutes in the fourth before leaving the game up 104-74 with 9:27 remaining in regulation. Considering the score was 60-60 when he started his scoring barrage, I'd say he earned the rest.
Thompson finished the night with 52 points (16-of-25 FG, 11-of-15 3FG, 9-of-10 FT), five assists, four steals, and two blocks. That scoring total is a career high, topping his previous best of 41 points set on November 1 vs. the Los Angeles Lakers. Yes, he was just four points off his own personal record over the course of 12 minutes. Egads.
- - - - - - -